707 bn €

eCommerce sales incl. EDI 2021 German manufacturers 


of the total turnover of German manufacturers in 2021 was via eCommerce


of total turnover of German manufacturers in 2021 via eCommerce (without EDI)

eCommerce sales channels for manufacturers

Different target groups require a well thought-out strategy

eCommerce for manufacturers is multifaceted: from digital ordering options for dealers, via Retail Connect, to direct sales to B2B or B2C end customers, different buyer personas and customer journeys need to be served.

The relevance of eCommerce in the B2B sector is unbroken and does not leave manufacturers untouched. Many companies see a need to open up in the direction of direct sales in order to tap new sales potential. From an additional sales channel, an own web shop is increasingly becoming a must-have. However, this future also involves a not insignificant risk, because direct sales leave out the middlemen, who are traditionally the most important manufacturer target group. How do you manage the balancing act between good dealer relations and direct sales? How well do you know the end-user target group and how can you reach them? Do you rely on marketplaces or your own web shop? Or do you just want to present a strong brand but leave the sales to the dealers?

Manufacturers are confronted with many questions. For manufacturers, e-commerce does not necessarily mean that they have to start immediately with a fully comprehensive web shop. There are numerous iteration stages between brand website and fully owned webshop. A sound eCommerce strategy considers all opportunities and risks and is the basis for a scalable solution that enables manufacturers to take the right steps towards direct sales for their company.  
Our strategy team will help answer your questions and support you in the planning and implementation phases.

Strong brand and strong dealer relationship

End users make purchasing decisions based on many factors. A good image and a strong brand play an important role. No one can take over the task of communicating the added value and thus building up the positive image of one's own brand from the manufacturer; above all, it must not be left exclusively to the dealers. At the beginning of the purchase cycle, manufacturers have the chance to communicate directly with the end customer and convince him of their own product. At the same time, valuable data on the interests and research behaviour of users can be gained, which would otherwise be lost in the data exchange with the retailer. And the sale? By directing the convinced user from the product directly to the retailer's web shop or to the stationary trade, one does not jeopardise the retailer relationship.

Let's get started

Marketplaces: eCommerce is not just a webshop

Marketplaces are a possibility for online sales without having to set up your own webshop directly. If you want to test on a small scale and sell directly to the end user without an intermediary, marketplaces are a good choice. Products can be placed here quickly and initial experience can be gained: Do I reach my target group? Which products are suitable? How can I design my pricing? However, the question of the right platform is often difficult. Amazon, eBay, Mercateo... many factors from orientation, product range to logistics have to be considered.

Let's get started

From our own hand: The manufacturer's webshop

You can't do without the retailer – that's not going to change anytime soon. Nevertheless, strategic considerations must be made about an own web shop in order to be prepared for the future. It is true that the better known the brand is to the end user, the easier it is to enter the (online) direct sales market. Parallel to the dealer business, one can start a test run on new markets or the sale of partial assortments or "remaining stock". Once the eCommerce infrastructure is in place, it can be scaled up over the years. If you have already built up the eCommerce basis and established processes, you can adapt more quickly to new market conditions and react to changes.

Let's get started

Where is your journey heading?

Whether brand presence with dynamic product information, Retail Connect functions, marketplace presence or your own web shop - our strategy team looks at the market situation, its opportunities and risks, your target groups and internal resources and capacities with you. Together we work out a realistic target and roadmap for implementation, draw up requirements and advise on the choice of marketplace or system. We will find a scalable entry into eCommerce for your company that is as individual as your products and your starting position.

Let's get started

Do's and don'ts for brand manufacturers

Anyone who is only entering the digital business today can justifiably be called a latecomer. Which entry strategy should be chosen for this market and what are the success factors or pitfalls? You will find the answers in our whitepaper...

Download now

Manufacturers who trust us

We work successfully with manufacturers from various industries on a long-term basis. Join other industry leaders and trust Smart Commerce!

Technology Solutions

The Smart Commerce mission is to enable long-term eCommerce success for our customers. We achieve this thanks to a team of excellent eCommerce experts and strong technology partners with suitable solutions for your requirements.

Read more!

Our services at a glance

Digital strategy and eCommerce consulting

Discover our unique consulting approach for your eCommerce success.

Development of eCommerce solutions

We develop & implement customised eCommerce systems for you with leading technology partners.

Managed Cloud Services

Modern public cloud solutions with maximum automation for the operation of efficient eCommerce systems.

We are happy to assist you!

One of our eCommerce experts will be happy to assist you with your topic. Feel free to call us directly, send us an email, or use our contact form. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Phone Number:
+49 341 99 15 36 00


Contact our experts directly:

Sign up for our newsletter now!

Dive into the world of eCommerce with the Smart Commerce SE Newsletter and stay always up-to-date. To get started, simply sign up with your email address.